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  1. Eiuol (Lev) and I (William) have created a new show on Youtube called Welcome To Reality! It is devoted to respectful debate and discussion. We will cover various topics that interest us and try to apply our understanding of Objectivism to moral and political action. The first episode is on the use and morality of recreational drugs, such as alcohol and psychedelics. We hope you'll check out the program and subscribe to our channel. Thanks! https://youtu.be/aDWd-b2xEB0
  2. I was having a conversation with an Objectivist lately about the tenets of Objectivism, and I was directed toward this forum section to try to get answers. Part of Objectivist philosophy is egoism, but as far as I can see, egoism leads to socialism when it is adopted on a societal scale. Here is how I see it: Egotistical people, almost by definition, care greatly about "getting theirs". When there is a critical mass of egotistical people in any society and they aren't "getting theirs", they band together and begin using socialism to take from "the rich" who "already have theirs". And that
  3. In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt swore that he would "stop the motor of the world". In Venezuela, as the country drifts farther and farther towards communism, factories are closing down, the country's GDP is falling fast, businesses are closing, and oil in many fields is ceasing to be produced. In Venezuela, is Atlas Shrugged coming true?
  4. Really the full title of this message should be "If God Doesn't Exist, Then "Objective Reality" Is Really Nothing More Than a Cosmic Fart, So Why Do Objectivists Have Such Deep Reverence for It?" But that would be too long for the forum system. Getting down to brass tacks though, at the end of Atlas Shrugged, after the blowout of Project F, James Taggart, one of the villains, his brain just basically "snaps" and he sits down on the floor of the Project F room and he becomes basically this empty blubbering shell of a man, he reaches this dejected low point that is as abjectly low as a man
  5. For most of human history, "absolute truth" was the province of a select caste of priest-kings who claimed divine and exclusive knowledge of absolute truth, and the rest of society just went along with it. Now, for around the past 3-400 years or so, extremely recently wrt the whole of human history, absolute truth is said no longer to be the exclusive province of priests and kings claiming to have special dealings with the Gods, but is said to be accessible to every man, supposedly by means of things like logical syllogisms. The problem as I see it is that even honest and earnest men
  6. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ayn Rand made no real effort to engage with those whom she labeled "mystics" and "Subjectivists". I have read her notes, and although I have read records of her visiting places like steel mills to try to make that side of her Magnum Opus (Atlas Shrugged) sound more realistic, there are no records in her notes of her ever visiting "the mystics" or "the subjectivists" in order to truly understand the people she was criticizing. Yes, she grew up in Soviet Russia, but that was a regime that claimed the mantle of "logic" and "reason" and "objectivity" every bit as ferve
  7. Try as I might, I still do not know what laws and theorems in formal logic such as "A is A" have to do with government. To me, it makes as much sense if she started talking about dinosaurs and tried to connect that to how the government should be run. The two seem to have nothing to do with each other.
  8. An oft-cited Objectivist mantra is "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.' It was recently stated, and confirmed by the fact-checking organization PolitiFact, that the six Wal-Mart heirs own more wealth between just the six of them than the wealth owned by the entire bottom 40% of America (~128,000,000 people) How are minimum-wage Wal-Mart workers (oh excuse me, "associates") who are just barely scraping together enough scraps from their meager paychecks to survive not living for the sake of thes
  9. Guys, please help me with this quote from Atlas Shrugged. It may be at the very core of Objectivism. "She had thought that industrial production was a value not to be questioned by anyone; she had thought that these men's urge to expropriate the factories of others was their acknowledgment of the factories value. She, born of the industrial revolution, had not held as conceivable, had forgotten along with the tales of astrology and alchemy, what these men knew in their secret, furtive souls, knew not by means of thought, but by means of that nameless muck which they called their instincts
  10. I am genuinely interested to know what your views are on the future of Objectivism. There are different ways you could go about answering this; as long as it is constructive you can answer it how you choose. For some examples, your focus might be the practical application of the philosophy to how you live your life. It might be more to do with expanding the influence of Objectivism. It might be creating a new community. To what extent do you think its possible in your lifetime?
  11. In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, in John Galt's Speech, there is a quote that seems to be central to the Objectivist worldview, but yet seems to be completely self-contradictory. "Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him to perform. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer - and that is the way he has acted for most of his history. A living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil, would not survive. A plant that struggled to mangle its roots, a bird that fought to break its wings would not remain for long i
  12. It seems to be implied in Objectivism that there is going to be this giant catastrophe like in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged that is going to force human society to go from Subjectivism to Objectivism. I can personally remember during the Great Recession, whose worst years were approximately from 2008-10, at least some Objectivists saying "this is it! this is Atlas shrugging!" But that didn't happen. Here we are in 2016, the world got back on its feet and "Subjectivism" has kept on rolling. Also, the "doers" and "makers" according to Objectivism, such as Bill Gates, are not "Going Galt"
  13. "Thinking is not a mechanical process", Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt's Speech But if atheism is true and man is a biological machine lacking what theists would call a soul, then how is "thinking not a mechanical process"?
  14. Hypothetical: A very wealthy individual has built an extension on her home which houses an automated factory for the production of flour. The automated factory includes facilities for accepting wheat, grinding it up, doing all the necessary processing and generating flour. Intelligently the factory is arranged so that gasoline, propane, oil, natural gas, or portable electric power, may be supplied to the factory to make it work, and that oil, water, and cleaning supplies may be easily provided to it to ensure proper operation of flour production and self-maintenance and self-cleaning o
  15. On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I will answer questions on the good in American culture, romance between an atheist and a believer, the limits of humor, and more. This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 30 December 2012, at 8 PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can listen to the podcast later. This week's questions are: Question 1: The Good in American Culture: How is American culture better today better than people think? I've heard lots of depressing claims about the abysmal state of American culture lat
  16. I have put a lot of effort into this blog over the last few years: Objectivism for Intellectuals | Exploring the depths of Ayn Rand's revolutionary philosophy. I always strive toward intellectual rigor and creating an understanding of principles' contexts in the reader. Sometimes this means that the writing doesn't flow as smoothly as it might if I were to write in a more casual style. But I hope that intelligent and thoughtful people will appreciate the rigor and perhaps gain some insight from it.
  17. The vitriol that I encounter bogels the mind. People who are otherwise pretty level headed will straight up say: "I hate Ayn Rand." While I do not consider myself an Objectivist I am always happy to defend Ayn Rand against the most common objections. But rarely do I get a serious debate. The hatred of Rand seems almost visceral. Why? What it is about Rand that so offends? What makes her taboo among intellectuals? I'll offer what I suspect is a partial answer: There is a long tradition, tracing back at least to Plato, that practical concerns are vulgar and unworthy of serious though
  18. Every Objectivist I've met in real life has been rather homophobic. I was just wondering what (if anything) Ayn Rand said about homosexuality. What is Objectivism's views on gays/gay rights in general?
  19. As a student, I often find myself arguing with socialists. I have organised many debates with socialists, and am holding conferences in Austrian economics. Doing everything I can with my knowledge, in order to persuade socialists to understand economics, capitalism and rights... I am still young however, so I'm sure there are better methods than I have used to convince people. (i.e. YouTube videos of Friedman, Sowell and Rand) Which tools and methodology (i.e praxeology, natural rights &etc) would you recommend to undertake this task? Thanks for all suggestions, Samuel Marks
  20. I owe everyone on this forum an apology. I hope you will consider forgiving me for a mistake I made. I failed to fully appreciate the fact that you are all here- or claim to be here- to discuss Objectivism which is quite admirable. I am very happy that this forum exists not only because it is devoted to discussing logical principles, but because also, there is far, far too little discussion of logical principles and philosophy elsewhere in the universe today. (I say Universe because people live on the International Space Station [i.S.S.] and their premises in fact are quite illogical since the
  21. According to ARI's latest issue of Impact, Michael Berliner has a new book coming out in March 2012. It's based upon Leonard Peikoff's online video course Understanding Objectivism. The Understanding Objectivism course is $150 on the AynRandBookstore site while this upcoming book is $18. Seems like a great alternative for those of us who can't afford the full blown course. It can be pre-ordered already on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Objectivism-Guide-Learning-Philosophy/dp/0451236297/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323454858&sr=8-1
  22. I've decided to start my own local Objectivist oriented study group and perhaps get involved in intellectual activism, but mostly to meet local Ayn Rand enthusiasts. Pittsburgh Ayn Rand Society I may permit non-locals to participate on the Meetup forum for the group, depending on how it goes; but mostly looking for local participation. I do have to wonder, though, if I can use the title that I have chosen. There is an Ayn Rand Society centered in the Pittsburgh area run by Dr. Allan Gotthelf, but it is a professional organization connected with various universities (which we would n
  23. Hello everyone, I've been thinking about a project for some time and I think I'm about ready to put in on paper. In short, it's a bedtime story (mainly for my little ones but I'd love to publish it, even self-publish if that's the only option). Here's why I think this important: First, Objectivism is an incredibly important philosophy. Obviously that's the reason most of us are here, not to pick fights but to understand and discuss the ideas of Ayn Rand. I don't think it's represented in media nearly enough. Second, other things are represented far too often. I have to deal with reli
  24. Checking Premises . ORG Statements and My Position By Thomas M. Miovas, Jr. 02/04/2012 I seem to be getting quite a few friendship requests after taking a stance against certain aspects of the checkingpremises.org essays and statements as presented on their website -- especially after posting the following to several friend's wall posts: "I think you guys [Chip Joyce et al] have a ways to go to present your case. Yes, there are people who claim all sorts of nonsense is compatible with Objectivism, but when I asked you via FaceBook to give three examples of what you were referring
  25. I spent several years reading about Objectivism and using it in my everyday life to pull myself out of a vicious downward spiral that was going to lead me to eiher death or prison. I felt like I had things pretty under control but the past year or so I have felt like I haven't been in control. The slightest things will set me off and I feel myself get very violent and agressive. There have been a few times in the past year that I have let it get the best of me and hurt people and I know I shouldn't do that. The best way I can describe it is the term "seeing red" and then when its over I feel l
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